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Student Elective Symposium Success

Published 16 Feb 2016

A student elective symposium was a fitting start to our 175th Anniversary year.  Ever since the late 19th Century EMMS has had a heart for training healthcare professionals, equipping them to work in far flung mission hospitals around the world. Today EMMS International’s commitment to fostering interaction and mutual learning with our partner hospitals remains strong. Thanks to the support of the St Lazarus Trust we are able to continue to fund student electives and it was this focus we wanted to celebrate in Glasgow on Saturday 23 January.

An enthusiastic group of medical, nursing and dentistry students were welcomed by James Wells, CEO of EMMS International. They heard about the elective experiences of three of our alumni recently returned from sub-Saharan Africa; Kirsty McCance, Jocelyn Amer and Rachel Hammond.

Sessions addressing the value and impact of overseas work experience and partnership were led by Professor David Galloway, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, Dr Tim Lavy of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Christian Medical Fellowship, Dr Joan McDowell, senior lecturer in nursing and healthcare at the University of Glasgow and Tony Gaston, Relationships Manager at EMMS International. 

Some main points highlighted by the event were:

  • Electives are a chance to build real partnership between the student and the host hospital and host country.
  • Going to hospitals lacking in resources provides students with invaluable opportunities to greatly hone their skills and make a significant impact.
  • Each speaker touched on how unforgettable their experience was.
  • Students are able to gain a huge sense of perspective whilst on elective; going to a resource-poor setting means being presented with illnesses unseen in the northern hemisphere.  
  • A holistic approach to healthcare matters; the compassion and comfort brought to patients by hospital staff members is awe-inspiring.

A Burns Supper and Ceilidh followed the Symposium and drew a keen crowd of revellers.  Funds were raised for the work of EMMS International and a good time was had by all.